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Old Crafty Hen - Greene King / Morland Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Crafty HenOld Crafty Hen

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

186 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 186
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 14.09%
Wants: 8
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Greene King / Morland Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: GreenCard on 10-17-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Crafty Hen Alström Bros
Ratings: 186 | Reviews: 65 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mrfrancis
4.01/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark burnished amber with a creamy whitish head that recedes quickly, leaving only a modest amount of lacing.

S: Aromas of leather, toffee, caramel, roasted nuts, heather, tobacco, black pepper, black tea, mild citrus, biscuit, raisin, and oak slowly reveal themselves.

T: Earthy and spicy up front with nicely layered flavors of oak, black pepper, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, black tea, moss, black currant, leather, heather, tobacco, bitter orange, and lemon. Around mid-palate malty notes of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, sweet cream, and biscuit kick in and balance the peppery, woody notes from the hops. On the finish, a delicate, complex blend of herbs, lemon, oak, pepper, tea, leather, biscuit, and toffee gives way to subtle flavors of raisin and prune.

M: Relatively full in body and dryish, though well-balanced. Carbonation is firm, but not exactly crisp. Alcohol presence is nonexistent.

O: A really nicely executed and wonderfully balanced old ale. While Old Crafty Hen is not the sort of lactic, oaky old ale for which I normally reach, it is still very appealing. All of the traits of Old Speckled Hen, The Tanner's Jack, and Hen's Tooth that I admire seem to have been amplified in this ale. I could see this beer being a wonderful introduction to the world of traditional English old ales and strong ales.

mrfrancis, Jul 18, 2013
Photo of Crimsonfloods
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Crimsonfloods, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of TeachChefs
4.5/5  rDev +22%

TeachChefs, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of TheMrFarnham
2/5  rDev -45.8%

TheMrFarnham, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of e30todamax
4/5  rDev +8.4%

e30todamax, Jul 09, 2013
Photo of Soxfan45
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Soxfan45, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of DenverHopHead
3.04/5  rDev -17.6%

DenverHopHead, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of jmathis
3/5  rDev -18.7%

jmathis, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of beerbtl
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

beerbtl, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of JRod6242
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

JRod6242, Jun 26, 2013
Photo of JackRB
4/5  rDev +8.4%

JackRB, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of ste5venla
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

ste5venla, Jun 20, 2013
Photo of mmilyko
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

mmilyko, Jun 17, 2013
Photo of PremyslHrubon
3/5  rDev -18.7%

PremyslHrubon, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of scotorum
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The last of the "Hen House" fourpack of pint + bottles by Greene King/Morland I have tried. Poured from the 16.9 oz. clear bottle into a Samual Smith English tulip pint glass.

a. Deep rich delicious-looking medium amber grows a 3/4 inch white head which dissipates slowly to a heavy white surface film with ringing and light lacing.

s: Nothing notable at first, but on drinking, a light malty aroma.

t&m: Smooth and very pleasant, little hop bite or fruitiness. But then if I want the latter, I'd buy a good IPA. Aftertaste telegraphs that you've just had a damn good beer.

o: One of the best British ales I've had in years. Superb with the lobster dinner it accompanied.

Bottom line to my Hen House experience is: if you like British ale and have a chance to buy the fourpack, don't pass it up. They're all good and all a little different. Only drawback is the clear bottles risk skunky aromas, but just one of mine even suggested that.

scotorum, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of dwren89
4.09/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: great clarity, surprisingly pale gold color, much lighter than most English IPA, white, sticky, fluffy head

Aroma: Strong citrus aroma of grapefruit, orange, very little to no detectable malt aroma, clean yeast

Taste: fruity, citrusy, spritzy carbonation, much more American than English, very soft pale malt backbone that is only detectable really in the body; hops flavors ring through start to finish with a mildly bitter medium finish

Mouthfeel: Spritzy, carbonation lightens the body, you can only tell its medium bodied if you hold it in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing; very easy drinking, medium bitter, somewhat dry finish
Overall Impression: For a beer that is ranked this highly on Beeradvocate’s top beers in Britain, I honestly expected more. It is a little too light in body and malt character, and uses obviously American hops, to be considered an English IPA. When compared to the best Ameican IPAs, this would not have a prayer to make the top 50. That being said, it is quite refreshing, light on the palate, and thirst quenching.

dwren89, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darker than amber, this Hen is almost red, with sharp, bright clarity. About half a finger is what's ultimately left after puffing up tall on the pour. It's a sturdy head, though, and it sticks around for a full session, depositing steady, even lacing as it does.
A little bit buttery, as I'm coming to expect in some cases, it's otherwise grassy with a biscuity malts backbone. Some citrus zest and a surprisingly sturdy floral and citrus hops, and fruity esters sans the big alcohol bite some Americans bring to it adds up to a good, strong beer with a nice balance. The flavor brings out a touch of caramel sweetness and a spicy bite, as well as a touch of brown sugar and more dark fruits for more underlying sweetness, but certainly not cloying.
Interestingly, the body, while on the light side of medium, has a powdery touch of dryness to it. It never gets too slick or thin, and displays a consistent crispness while still being smooth, though the crispness just nips.

Brenden, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: orange-y-amber, initially hazy... lil more than 1/4" head stays after a more voluminous stand on the pour, messy collar later, nil on lace... clears a good bit as it warms, but not totally.... there IS some legs?!

S: weird - almost like a Euro pale lager while it's pouring (Heineken?!?!).... estery and surprisingly hoppy while the head still exists.... as it settles, straight caramel chews and a clean English fruity ester

T: plant flavor and bitterness? dandelion greens come to mind.... a standout, enhanced malt richness and depth compared to their other products.... slightest warm, spicy alcohol in the aftertaste... almost white wine vinous set against a mildly-burnt caramel.... dense caramel with some slickness and a honey-ish quality.... bit of toasty pale malt late and a grassy bitterness.... one whose familiar could taste the Old Speckled....

M: soft and smooth with a touch of a powdery feel... little bit of a tart prickle up front on the tongue tip.... kind of medium-bodied.... warmth gradually builds while a mild phenolic burn lingers (made me think of Carlsberg Special Brew for some reason).... quite dry enough actually

O: has some certain qualities worth savoring... increases exponentially in enjoyability as it goes... comes of like an enhanced Old Speckled... very well-balanced aside from the mild alc/yeast bite

Bouleboubier, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of bigbeerfan
4.5/5  rDev +22%

bigbeerfan, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of baklo
4/5  rDev +8.4%

baklo, May 27, 2013
Photo of kvnstfrd
4.5/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark, amber color with a frothy, long-lasting head with plenty of lacing.

Aroma: Raisins, spicy hops and cereal grains with a woody aroma.

Taste: Initial taste is brandy-like with dark fruits, oak and a subtle taste of liquorice while on the palate. Aftertaste is a perfect blend of sweet, dark fruit flavors and a dry bitter. Mouth-feel is medium with almost no detectable carbonation. A smooth and buttery swallow.

This is a difficult-to-find brew that I've been hunting for 3 or 4 years. I am happy to report that it has been well worth the hunt and the wait. This one just might make it into my top-10 list!

kvnstfrd, May 23, 2013
Photo of breakingbland
3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 1 pt., 0.9 oz. (0.5 liter) clear glass bottle (not dated) into a pint glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy honey golden. There is slight effervesce from the bottom of the glass. The head was a very thin layer of foam that dissipated quickly into a ring that persisted.

Aroma: Very slight skunkiness (but not objectionable) followed by sweet maltiness with some hops and grassiness. Not a strong aroma overall.

Taste: Hits the tongue initially with a rich but very well balanced malt/hops pairing. After swallowing, there is a marked honey-like sweetness that gives way to a grassy, hoppy bitterness that persists for a while.

Mouthfeel: Moderate to low carbonation. The rich flavor works with the moderate body to give this beer a good feel in the mouth.

Overall: I bought this in a 4-pack with three other "Old Hen" offerings from Morland based on my good opinion of "Old Speckled Hen". This one is called a "superior fine ale" on the bottle, and by comparison to OSH, it is -- mainly due to the rich maltiness and sweetness (both of which I am a fan). I will look for this again and would consider it something of a special occasion beer. (This has been discussed in the forums [http://beeradvocate.com/community/threads/clear-bottles.23175/], but I'm surprised that there's so little skunkiness [only a slight skunky aroma] as these beers are sold in clear bottles.)

breakingbland, Apr 29, 2013
Photo of Bubbalito
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Bubbalito, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

DrunkinYogi, Apr 24, 2013
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Mebuzzard, Apr 23, 2013
Old Crafty Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 186 ratings.